Are blood vessels a target to treat lower urinary tract dysfunction?

Martin C. Michel*, Russ Chess-Williams, Sharath S. Hegde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Bladder dysfunction is common in the general population (Stewart et al. 2010) and even more so among patients seeing a physician for any reason (Goepel et al. 2002). It often manifests as lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), a term originally coined to describe voiding and storage symptoms in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) but now more universally used to describe any type of voiding and storage symptoms in both sexes. Studies into possible causes of urinary bladder dysfunction have long focused on detrusor smooth muscle cells (Turner and Brading 1999). More recently, it became clear that several other types of cells and organs contribute to regulating detrusor smooth muscle function. These include the urothelium (Andersson and McCloskey 2014; Michel 2015), afferent nerves (Michel and Igawa 2015; Yoshimura et al. 2014b), and the central and autonomic nervous systems (Fowler and Griffiths 2010; Yoshimura et al. 2014a). Alterations in any of these may at least partly be responsible for detrusor dysfunction and, accordingly, be potential targets for the treatment of bladder dysfunction. As highlighted by an article in this issue of Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology (Bayrak et al. 2015), there is an additional suspect, the bladder vasculature. This article will discuss the currently available experimental and clinical evidence for a role of the vasculature in causing bladder dysfunction, and how existing and emerging treatments may modulate bladder function by acting on blood vessels. Due to a similarity in concept, data on prostate perfusion will also be discussed to some extent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-694
Number of pages8
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2015


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